Tree Thieves: Crime and Survival in North America's Woods by Lyndsie BourgonWhat it's about: tree poachers, timber cartels, and the illegal black market for lumber that threatens old growth forests in the Pacific Northwest.
Why you might like it: Author Lyndsie Bourgon interviews poachers, law enforcement officials, forensic wood specialists, environmental activists, and residents of indigenous communities to illuminate this complex issue.
For fans of: John Vaillant's The Golden Spruce: A True Story of Myth, Madness, and Greed.
The World as We Knew It: Dispatches From a Changing Climate by Amy Brady and Tajja Isen (editors)What it is: a "poignant ode to a changing planet" (Kirkus Reviews) comprised of 19 essays on climate change by writers such as Omar El Akkad, Lydia Millet, Kim Stanley Robinson, and Terese Svoboda.
Further reading: the anthologies The Fragile Earth, edited by David Remnick and Henry Finder; Coming of Age at the End of Nature, edited by Julie Dunlap and Susan A. Cohen; or We are the Middle of Forever, edited by Dahr Jamail and Stan Rushworth.
The Rise and Reign of the Mammals: A New History, from the Shadow of the Dinosaurs to... by Steve BrusatteWhat it's about: the 325-million-year history of mammals, which -- recent discoveries have shown -- is much different than what scientists previously believed.
About the author: Paleontologist Steve Brusatte is the author of The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs and also served as the scientific consultant for the 2013 film Walking With Dinosaurs.
Further reading: Elsa Panciroli's Beasts Before Us, Anthony J. Stuart's Vanished Giants, or Ross D.E. MacPhee's End of the Megafauna.
A Portrait of the Scientist As a Young Woman by Lindy Elkins-TantonMeet: planetary scientist Lindy Elkins-Tanton, Principal Investigator of NASA's Psyche mission.
Why you'll want to read about her: A highly accomplished scientist, Dr. Elkins-Tanton is only the second woman ever to be awarded a major NASA space exploration contract. She is also a survivor of both childhood abuse and ovarian cancer.
You might also like: Sara Seager's The Smallest Lights in the Universe, Sarah Stewart Johnson's The Sirens of Mars, or Chanda Prescod-Weinstein's The Disordered Cosmos, which blend scientific discovery and personal reflection.
The Monster's Bones: The Discovery of T. Rex and How It Shook Our World by David K. RandallWhat it is: an account of the larger-than-life personalities whose fossil-hunting exploits jump-started the nascent field of paleontology and revolutionized our understanding of prehistoric life.
Starring: fossil-hunter Barnum Brown, who in 1902 uncovered the first documented partial skeleton of a Tyrannosaurus rex in Montana's Hell Creek Formation.
Also featuring: Brown's mentor, geologist-turned-eugenicist Henry Fairfield Osborn; Othniel Charles Marsh and Edward Drinker Cope whose heated rivalry fueled 19th-century paleontology's "Bone Wars."
Endless Forms: The Secret World of Wasps by Seirian SumnerWhat it is: an entomologist's "tour de force" (Publishers Weekly) exploration of the incredible world of wasps.
Want a taste? "In stark contrast to bees, wasps are depicted as the gangsters of the insect world; winged thugs; inspiration for horror movies; the 'sting' in the tale of thriller novels; conduits of biblical punishment."
For fans of: engaging, thought-provoking books that mount a spirited defense of unloved insects, such as Jonathan Balcombe's Super Fly or Justin O. Schmidt's The Sting of the Wild.
The Sky Is for Everyone: Women Astronomers in Their Own Words by Virginia Trimble and David A. Weintraub (editors)Contains: essays by a diverse group of women astronomers from around the world, a collection of "moving testimonies and awe-inspiring discoveries" (Publishers Weekly).
Supplementary materials include: an overview of professional women astronomers from the 19th century to the present; brief biographies of each contributor and her scientific achievements.
For fans of: nonfiction that shines a light on the often overlooked contributions of women scientists and mathematicians, such as Dava Sobel's The Glass Universe or Margot Lee Shetterly's Hidden Figures.
An Immense World: How Animal Senses Reveal the Hidden Realms Around Us by Ed YongWhat it is: An "ingenious" (Kirkus Reviews) examination of the umwelt, or unique sensory world, of various living organisms, including but not limited to humans.
About the author: Pulitzer Prize-winning science journalist Ed Yong is the author of I Contain Multitudes: The Microbes Within Us and a Grander View of Life.
You might also like: Jackie Higgins' Sentient: What Animals Reveal About Our Senses.
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